Here at Delk & Tomlinson, we always want you to be a step ahead in the process of divorce. One of the most important things you can do to prepare for your divorce is to have a clear picture of your financial situation. You can be sure that the opposing side will ask several questions regarding your financial picture in a process known as “discovery.” “Discovery” simply means a process where both sides ask the other side questions that they generally must answer. Discovery questions can either be “regular” questions, or they can ask you to produce some type of document or evidence.
This post is intended to give you a clearer picture of what types of financial information you will be required to give your attorney and to opposing counsel through the discovery process. For example, you may be asked for things like personal income, insurance documents, bank records, personal assets, liabilities, and, if applicable, business records.
The following are a few examples of questions you may be asked:
1. Copies of your full and complete 2013 through 2015 state and federal income tax returns, together with all schedules and statements, thereto for said years. Your 2015 estimated tax schedule and verification of payments made thereto in tax year 2015 if you have not yet filed.
2. All papers, pay statements, or written memoranda of every kind and description reflecting any and all monies received by you from any source whatsoever, including but not to be limited to income from salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, dividends, severance pay, pension income, interest, trust income, annuities capitals gains, social security benefits, workmen's compensation benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, disability benefits, gifts, and prizes for each of the above-referenced tax returns and for tax year 2015.
3. A copy of your employment contract and/or your most recent six (6) payroll stubs showing your gross pay, net pay, and all deductions.
4. All documents referring to or relating to all investments made by you for yourself or on behalf of any other person, firm, partnership, trust, investment, retirement account, or corporation since 2012 through the date of production.
1. All medical and dental insurance policies in your name for your benefit or for the benefit of others in your family.
2. Copies of any and all existing insurance policies on your life and/or the life of your spouse including documents that will show the terms of said policy, the insures, the beneficiary, cases surrender value of each policy, and any loans against the policy.
3. Copies of any life insurance policy(s) on which you are the beneficiary or one of the beneficiaries including documents that will show the terms of said policy, the insures, the beneficiary, case surrender value of each policy, and any loans against the policy.
4. Copies of all homeowners, hazard, personal liability, automobile, disability, and personal property insurance policies, and other related documents to clearly identify the coverage, limitation on coverage, itemization of covered property, benefits payable, and beneficiaries.
1. All bank statements, deposit slips, check registers, canceled checks, and checkbooks stubs for each personal and business checking account on which you have or had drawing authority individually or jointly with any other person or in a representative capacity, for the past year.
1. Documents for all stock certificates, bonds, annuities, debentures, certificates of deposit, mutual funds, or securities of any kind owned wholly or in part, legally, or equitable, by you at any time within three (3) years preceding the date hereof through that date of production.
2. Any and all documents touching, concerning, or pertaining to the appraisal of any property, whether real or personal, owned by you or in which you have any legal equitable ownership interest that has been appraised in the past five years, through the date of production.
1. All itemized statements and annual summaries for all personal or business credit cards maintained by you or upon which you have had any drawing authority for the past year through the date of production.
2. The most recent six (6) statements, bills, invoices, or other most current evidence of any and all debts that are yours either individually or jointly with another.
1. Produce any and all documents constituting, referring to, or relating to your legal and/or equitable ownership of any proprietorship, farming operation, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, joint venture, or joint enterprise of any type from January 1, 2012, until the present date.
These examples are not the only documents and questions you will be required to answer, but hopefully, this gives you a better picture of what you will need to gather to prepare for the Discovery process. Providing these documents to your attorney at the time of filing will allow your attorney to have a clear picture of what your financial obligations are, and hopefully ease the way into financial recovery after divorce.